Financial Accounting Software: The Changing Landscape

By Stephanie Elsen

Remember back in the 1980’s when financial accounting programs were really starting to sprout up here and there? Software developers from all over created and marketed their own applications to businesses and organizations. People in businesses of all sizes finally had the opportunity to track and manage financial information on a computer, rather than on paper. As time went on, some financial accounting software developers got purchased or merged, some closed their doors because of too much competition, and some thrived and are still improving and growing today.

Back when all the accounting software developers were starting up, even the smallest, one person developer could create and market his/her own accounting application. It was so much easier to do back then, since businesses often wanted to buy the system from someone local. They wanted a partner who could be there to help them if needed. Buying from a local software provider gave the business a sense of comfort, knowing there was someone who could help them when needed. And then, the internet changed everything. More and more support options became available online, phones became automated, and many software companies started providing telephone and internet support options. Bigger companies such as today’s Intuit and Sage started acquiring customers on a large scale. Many other smaller companies continue to grow and thrive as well.

Computer with accounting software

Today, the practice of purchasing financial accounting software from a company that is not in your neighborhood is well accepted. There are still many wonderful local developers and also partners who represent the larger accounting software companies, by providing services for them locally. These days, the service you get from your software provider can vary greatly. That’s why you should always check out these aspects of the services they offer.

  • Are they easy to reach?
  • Do they speak your language?
  • Are they experienced?
  • Are they responsive and courteous?
  • Do they make meaningful updates to their system?

No matter whether you choose a mass-marketed product or one from a smaller company, these questions are extremely important in your research process. Managing your company’s financial information is not a subject to be taken lightly. Ask the questions, get the answers, and choose the financial accounting system that is just right for you.

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